Wicker- Kevin Guilfoile ***/*

Bah always so annoying when you type a post and lose it!
How Far would you go to look into the eyes of your child's killer??

Look twenty years or so into the future and imagine a time when it's commonplace to clone babies for infertile couples. Imagine too a a world divided buy this practice and a band of religious vigilantes determined to bring an end to cloning. Now take the case of Dr Davis Moore, a cloning specialist who;s confronted with the brutal rape and murder of his teenage daughter. What would you do if the police drew a blank in their investigations but erroneously sent you a vial containing the killer's DNA...DNA you could use to clone the killer? Would you be able to create a cuckoo in the nest just so that you could look your daughter's killer in the eye?

Justin Finn, at three, looks just like any other child. But his face, one day, will be the exact match of the cold-blooded killer of whom he is a perfect genetic replica. And Justin Finn at fifteen has developed an unhealthy obsession with the Wicker Man, a notorious serial killer who prowls the streets of Chicago....

I think the quirkiest thing about this book was that I bought it at Big W in the post Christmas sales, and then a week or so later, I bought a stack of books at the Dymocks Big Book Sale and when got home I realised I must have really wanted to read it, because I'd bought another copy! In my defence however, they had different covers and one was trade size, one regular paperback size.
This is the first novel by Kevin, and I think he needs to change his publisher. See this post for my frustrations on blurbs.

This was a really interesting book because about half way through it I commented that it was really hard going and I was really labouring through it. I really felt the author had over extended himself and had way too many character threads happening, a very over-ambitious first novel perhaps.
But then the second half of the book just galloped along! I didn't want to put it down, which generally means I really enjoy it, and if it didn't drag so much at the start it may have gotten more stars. As it is, it tackles some big cloning issues and has quite a twist at the end. I didn't really like the way I felt he abandoned some of his sub-plots at times, you'd think "hmm where did that guy go?" and then it would still be another twenty pages before he'd pop up again. There was also a tendency to discard characters, as there were so many involved, they would suddenly be written out with the ease of a Home and Away starlet falling pregnant.

I would recommend, but with the warning that the early slog is worth it in the end if you don't pick the twist (which in retrospect I suspected, but forgot again until it was revealed).


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